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Lectures 8-9. Media and Ideology

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by

Ron Jacobs

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Lectures 8-9. Media and Ideology

Main topics:
1. What is Ideology?
2. Ideology and the News
3. Ideology and Fictional Media
4. Ideology and the Advertising Industry
5. Criticism of Ideology
an ideology is a system of meaning that helps explain the world and make judgments about it
ideology is about the distortion of reality
ideology reinforces the privileges of the powerful
ideologies are comfortable, because they are familiar
The Role of Media in Ideology
Dominant
ideology
hegemony
vs.
comes from Marxism
dominant ideology is the
ideology of the dominant
class
results in false conscious-ness for the subordinate
classes
because of who controls the media
Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall
powerful groups exercise control by persuading people that their viewpoint is common sense
this requires that they actively engage and try to discredit alternative ideologies
hegemony is always provisional, or "for the moment" and open to challenge
media present critical positions but then trivialize them
Sometimes, media get enlisted in ideological battles between two important groups, which result in "culture wars"
Ideology and the News
1. News Limits Debate by defining two (and only two) sides to every issue
2. News focuses primarily on (and gives voice to) powerful people, powerful organizations, and established interests.
3. International news reinforces nationalist ideology
4. Economic news is written from the perspective of business and business interests.
corporate voices appear in 40 percent of stories, voices from labor unions in only two percent
Ideology and Fictional Media
Military
Gender
Roles
Family
Social
Class
action-adventure
films and
geopolitics
to be covered in future lectures
Race
fictional media and the ideology of celebrity
in a study of popular biographies, Leo Lowenthal found that by the 1940s there had been a shift away from business owners toward Hollywood celebrities
in a 1968 art exhibit, Andy Warhol wrote that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes"
today, a lot of television is devoted to the celebration and the creation of ordinary celebrity
Ideology and the Advertising Industry
"a deeper bond with the product"
emotional
aspirational
libidinal
the ideological messages work by linking our desire or our enjoyment to specific and yet unremarked social myths that operate in society

most typically, connected to class, gender, race, sexuality, nationality
reinforcing our identities as
consumers
Criticism of Ideology
1. The majority of media content may be ideological, but there is always a strand of critical content
2. Case study: rap music and hip-hop culture
3. Case study: Television and "The Wire"
4. Case Study: Film and "Natural Born Killers"
Exam Results
Mean 73, median 76
min 34, max 99
q1 61, q3 85
15 exams at 90 or higher
20 exams at 55 or lower
Full transcript